Caving on Offshore Drilling: America Last

Townhall | Robert Bradley | January 25, 2019

A liberal judge just blocked one of President Trump’s most important reforms — one designed to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and keep our pump prices low.

Soon after taking office, President Trump opened America’s offshore territories to oil and gas exploration. And despite the current shutdown, the Interior Department has continued to issue permits for seismic surveying, the first step in locating those deep-sea energy reserves.

But on Friday, Richard Gergel, a U.S. District Court Judge in South Carolina, issued a nationwide injunction to prevent the administration from issuing any new survey permits during the shutdown.

His decision is a rare victory for anti-drilling activists who want to resurrect Obama’s radical anti-fossil-fuel agenda. The keep-it-in-the-ground activists have all but been defeated by President Trump’s let-the-market-decide, America-first energy policy.

The forgotten men and women of this country are counting on energy freedom to unlock our offshore energy riches. And what riches lay at the end of this rainbow.

The Outer Continental Shelf — the underwater land off the coast of Alaska, the Pacific states, the Gulf states, and the Eastern seaboard — contains an estimated 90 billion barrels of oil and 327 trillion cubic feet of gas. Despite this immense bounty, the Obama administration rejected almost every proposal to drill in it, closing off over 90 percent of the territory.

In April 2017, President Trump issued an executive order opening it back up, setting the groundwork for drilling to start over the next five years. Accordingly, the Interior Department started processing five seismic testing permits for the mid-Atlantic shelf, stretching from Florida to Delaware.

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